Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition.

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JOB - Chapter 27

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Job xxvii.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 1. Parable: speaking in a figurative poetic style, Numbers xxiii. 7. Job grants that God generally punishes the wicked, but he maintains that he also chastises the just; and hence admonishes all to revere his judgments and wisdom, and to decline from evil; which truths must always subsist, whatever may be the conduct of Providence. (Calmet) --- Parables do not always imply similies, but sometimes pithy, and profound sentences, spoken by the wisest men.

Ver. 2. Judgment. Chaldean, "my rule of judging." Septuagint, "Live the Lord, who hath judged me thus." Symmachus, "hath despised my judgment." The expression seems very harsh, and may be one of those which God blames, chap. xl. 3. (Estius) (Calmet) --- Yet we shall examine that point later, chap. xlii. (Haydock) --- He may only mean that he is so well convinced of his innocence, that he calls God to witness it, (Calmet) and adores his ways, (Haydock) in not permitting him to appear before his tribunal, (Calmet) to justify himself; (Menochius) so the he is abandoned to the rash judgments of others, chap. xxxiv. 5. Isaias (xl. 27.) and Sophonias (iii. 15.) speak in similar terms. (Calmet) --- God deferred passing sentence, for Job's greater trial. (Worthington)

Ver. 3. Nostrils: while I live. (Haydock) --- Genesis ii. 7., and Ezechiel xxxvii. 14. (Calmet)

Ver. 5. Till. Never will I abandon this path, (Haydock) nor will I yield to your reasons, (Calmet) or cease to defend myself. (Menochius) --- It would have been contrary to justice and charity, (Haydock) as well as to truth, to confess a false crime. (Worthington)

Ver. 7. Enemy, or opponent. Hebrew, "my enemy shall be," &c. (Haydock) --- In effect, those who maintained the contrary to what Job taught, favoured the cause of impiety, as they represented God never punishing his servants, &c., (Calmet) which is contrary to experience; (Haydock) though it was not so evident at that time. (Houbigant) --- Job is so far from thinking riches a proof of sanctity, that he rather would wish his enemy to have them, (Menochius) as they are too frequently an incentive to sin. (Haydock)

Ver. 8. Soul, in death: What will it profit? &c., Matthew xvi. 26. All this proves demonstratively another world. (Calmet)

Ver. 9. Him. Like Antiochus, the wicked pray only through fear of punishment, and their request is therefore rejected, 2 Machabees ix. 13. (Menochius)

Ver. 11. Hand, or grace of God. --- Hath, how he acts, and with what design. (Calmet) --- Quid disponat Deus. (St. Augustine)

Ver. 13. Portion. This you have repeatedly asserted; and (Haydock) I acknowledge it is generally, but not always, the case. (Calmet)

Ver. 14. Bread. Septuagint, "if they grow up to manhood, they shall beg," Psalm xxxvi 25. (Haydock)

Ver. 15. In death; without honour. (Sanctius) --- Weep for him. Septuagint, "his widows no one shall lament, or pity." (Haydock) (Psalm lxxvii. 63.) (Menochius)

Ver. 18. Moth. Hebrew, "as the polar star." (Junius) --- But the Chaldean, &c., translate with the Vulgate, which agrees better with the latter part of the verse. The moth devours another's property, like the wicked man, who lodges commodiously, though not at his own expense. --- Keeper of a field, or of a vineyard. (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "His house has slipt away like a moth, and what he has kept (or his riches) like a spider." (Haydock) --- The moth demolishes its own house, and is then disturbed, (Menochius) or thrown with the rotten wood into the fire.

Ver. 19. Nothing. His riches are all left behind! The men of riches have slept their sleep, and have found nothing in their hands. They awake as from a dream, (chap. xx. 8.; Haydock) and then they form a true estimate of things. (Menochius) --- God chiefly punishes the wicked in death, Psalm lxxv. (Worthington)

Ver. 20. Night. Darkness often denotes disgrace and misery.

Ver. 22. And he (God) shall, or Septuagint the wind, (Calmet) "shall fall upon him." (Haydock) --- Flee. Yet he will not escape, (Menochius) though he flee with all expedition. (Haydock)

Ver. 23. Place. God having waited patiently a long time, at last displays the effects of his indignation, with a sort of contempt, Proverbs i. 26., and Ezechiel v. 13. (Calmet) (Psalm ii. 4.) (Menochius) (Pineda) --- Every passenger who shall witness his fall, and his now abandoned place, shall also testify his approbation. (Haydock)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Job persists in asserting his own innocence, and that hypocrites will be punished in the end.

1 Job also added, taking up his parable, and said:

2 As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment, and the Almighty, who hath brought my soul to bitterness,

3 As long as breath remaineth in me, and the Spirit of God in my nostrils,

4 My lips shall not speak iniquity, neither shall my tongue contrive lying.

5 God forbid that I should judge you to be just: till I die I will not depart from my innocence.

6 My justification, which I have begun to hold, I will not forsake: for my heart doth not reprehend me in all my life.

7 Let my enemy be as the ungodly, and my adversary as the wicked one.

8 For what is the hope of the hypocrite, if through covetousness he take by violence, and God deliver not his soul?

9 Will God hear his cry, when distress shall come upon him?

10 Or can he delight himself in the Almighty, and call upon God at all times?

11 I will teach you by the hand of God, what the Almighty hath, and I will not conceal it.

12 Behold you all know it; and why do you speak vain things without cause?

13 This is the portion of a wicked man with God, and the inheritance of the violent, which they shall receive of the Almighty.

14 If his sons be multiplied, they shall be for the sword, and his grandsons shall not be filled with bread.

15 They that shall remain of him, shall be buried in death, and his widows shall not weep.

16 If he shall heap together silver as earth, and prepare raiment as clay:

17 He shall prepare indeed, but the just man shall be clothed with it: and the innocent shall divide the silver.

18 He hath built his house as a moth, and as a keeper he hath made a booth.

19 *The rich man when he shall sleep shall take away nothing with him: he shall open his eyes and find nothing.

20 Poverty, like water, shall take hold on him; a tempest shall oppress him in the night.

21 A burning wind shall take him up, and carry him away, and as a whirlwind shall snatch him from his place.

22 And he shall cast upon him, and shall not spare: out of his hand he would willingly flee.

23 He shall clasp his hands upon him, and shall hiss at him, beholding his place.



19: Psalm xlviii. 18.